Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Seagull versus Mink

 Low water and bright sunshine made the fishing slow to non-existent on the third to last day of the coastal trout season.We fished all those "sure thing" holes but to no avail.  We decided to try one last place on the Trask river near Tillamook to see if we fared any better. When we parked and... got down to the river we immediately saw a seagull all tangled up in fishing line with a spinner in it's beak/mouth left by some uncaring fishing slob. The poor bird was in obvious distress and would not have survived much longer. I waded out to almost the top of my waders in hopes of some how freeing the gull. I could not get close enough to reach the bird so my fishing buddy Tom gave it a try. He managed to cast his fly line and snag the monofiliment the the bird was trapped with. Long story short he was successful in freeing the gull who went up on shore to gather it's strength I assume.
We were watching the gull in the brush when I noticed a mink was slinking along the shore making it's way towards the seagull. I figured that the large gull was too big for the mink to try to make a meal out of but I was wrong. The mink attacked the weakened gull and had it in a death grip! They thrashed around in the shallows until the gull escaped the teeth of the little predator and floated down river apparently unable to fly. The gull may have ended up as a meal for other coastal predators but through the adroit and skilled casting of Tom it at least didn't become the mink's dinner that night.

It is great seeing nature in action even if that action was brought about because of slobs who think nothing about leaving line all over the river bank. There certainly is no shortage of seagulls near the coast but to see one suffering like that is not pleasant. Just another reason to be good stewards and leave the river as we find it.
Great save by my pal Tom who now stands supreme in seagull lore.